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 The First Days of Preschool - Quality Preschool Initiative Underway in San Diego

​​Republished from Preschool Times, a publication of the First 5 San Diego Quality Preschool Initiative

Thousands of three and four-year-olds headed to their first day of preschool at First 5 Quality Preschool Initiative sites across San Diego County over the past few weeks. They arrived on foot, in cars or buses. Some took the lead to school, while others, still hesitant, held tightly to their parents´ hands. Excited teachers welcomed them ready to embark in a year of new discoveries, growth and learning.

At Child Development Associate´s Spring Valley site, a non-profit agency participating in the San Diego Quality Preschool Initiative, children began the day in circle time before having their nutritious breakfast. "What do you feel like today?" asked a teacher. "I feel like Superman!" exclaimed one proud boy.

At Ridgeview Preschool in Valley Center, a faith-based agency participating in the initiative, students discovered the world through various activity stations. In one, a child impersonating a barber styled his classmate´s hair in a real barber chair, providing an opportunity to interact and roll-play with a new friend. Others cut, colored, and pasted their way to the creation of new works of art while refining their fine motor skills.

Not too far from Valley Center is MAAC Project´s Pauma Head Start where students were taking advantage of the beautiful sunny day in North Inland San Diego County. Enjoying the challenge of the monkey bars, students cheered on friends and patiently took turns swinging on the bars, a great exercise for developing gross motor skills. Two friends teamed up to carry outdoor blocks for all to use and enthusiastically built bridges and roads. Others used the trike path and learned to stop at the stop sign and count to five before moving onward.

Warm weather welcomed water activities at many San Diego Quality Preschool Initiative sites. In El Cajon at Brisa´s Child Care, students measured and poured water in their outdoor sensory table. Cozy reading areas and an activities table allowed for fun and learning in outdoor fresh air.

Catching a reader at any Quality Preschool Initiative site is easy. From cozy outdoor reading areas to snuggly corner indoor nooks, students e​njoy picking up a book and sharing with a friend. At A+ Preschool and Family Child Care, students received a special treat. Words Alive and United Way San Diego donated a book for each child to enjoy at home too. A bilingual board book called The Very Hungry Caterpillar was given to all.